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From roadblocks to roadmaps: navigating the enablers and barriers to advancing locally-led and community-engaged evaluation in humanitarian contexts

Europe/London

Locally led monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and the meaningful engagement of communities in evaluations are important vehicles for greater accountability in humanitarian aid. However, humanitarian settings pose significant challenges to M&E, including difficulty in accessing populations affected by crises and the constant balance of resources versus priority actions, leaving little room for practitioners and organisations to advance and support locally-led and community-centred M&E practices.

Through this session, Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) and Humanitarian Advisory Group (HAG) will share the findings from their respective research on locally-led M&E and making evaluation findings accessible to communities (HAG, forthcoming). The panel will also feature experienced local evaluators who have engaged in this work and will speak to their rich experience of balancing ambition with realism in their locally-led M&E practices.

ALNAP is currently producing a scoping paper on locally-led M&E in humanitarian contexts to support relevant actors in finding their place within the wider discourse and to learn from the existing M&E practices of local actors, with a call to action for those not yet involved. This work is grounded in making locally-led M&E resources and initiatives more accessible and understood by as wide an audience as possible to advance the wider agenda of locally-led humanitarian action. ALNAP believes that through learning comes change. Through this paper, we aim to support practitioners to quickly identify where they can begin to improve their practice within their sphere of influence to contribute to change.

HAG will draw on insights from our partnership-based research that seeks to challenge power structures and transform the way that people are treated in crises around the world. In particular, HAG and GLOW Consultants will share findings of research into the current practices used by humanitarians and M&E practitioners to make the results of evaluation processes accessible to communities. We will share the barriers and promising practices and propose a six-step process to support evaluators in creating better experiences for communities in shaping the use and outcomes of evaluation.

Participants will come away with a deeper understanding of the enablers and barriers to locally-led M&E in humanitarian contexts and learn concrete steps to strengthen approaches to making evaluation findings accessible to communities. This panel is aimed at a broad audience given the various roles of evaluators, commissioners, academia and other stakeholders in advancing knowledge and practice of local leadership, participation and engagement in evaluative work.

Speakers

Hana Abul Husn is a Senior Research Officer at the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP). She is responsible for engaging and exchanging with ALNAP’s audiences on Evaluation, Learning and Accountability, and is conducting research on locally-led evaluation. She has held facilitator, researcher and monitoring & evaluation roles within a global program quality team, and for local and international NGOs, and UN agencies in Lebanon, her country of origin. Hana has experience in designing internal evaluations, commissioning external evaluations, and everything in between from data collection to management. Hana has a background in international relations, law, and psychology. She is passionate about learning and committed to improving aid through quality and accountability initiatives.

Pamela Combinido has over 10 years of combined research and evaluation experience. Her work spans a range of thematic areas including localisation, disaster risk reduction, diversity and inclusion, child protection, and gender equality. At HAG, Pam leads sectoral research projects related to humanitarian action and provides technical support to evaluations and strategy development. She has worked with non-government organisations (both in Australia, Philippines and in other Asia-Pacific countries), UN agencies, and other research institutions in her capacity as a researcher and M&E specialist. She is passionate about supporting the sector in rebalancing power in a way that will strengthen humanitarian action and effectively address needs. Pam has a master's and bachelor's degree in sociology from University of Cambridge (with distinction) and University of the Philippines (magna cum laude) respectively, and was a recipient of the British Government's Chevening Scholarship and Cambridge Trust Scholarship.

Zaki Ullah has been engaged with GLOW Consultants since 2014 as a founding member. He has a Master’s in Management & Implementation of Development Projects degree from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. Zaki also holds a BSc in Civil Engineering and an MSc in Environmental Engineering degrees. As a senior development and humanitarian sector expert, Zaki’s area of specialty is monitoring, evaluation, validation, quality assurance and data analysis. He worked in over 100 different assignments over the last 15 years including several research focused on localization. This also includes bridging the sector knowledge gap in terms of developing a framework to measure the localization impact at the community level i.e. thinking beyond the local organizations level. In his career, Zaki has worked with academia, government, donors, UN agencies, international NGOs and private-sector research firms.

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